Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: June 20
Michael A. Stein runs through the current list of injuries to significant fantasy baseball contributors around the league.
We are now into Week 12 of the fantasy season and the All Star break is right around the corner. By now everyone has been afflicted with injuries so it shouldn’t be too difficult to try and find a trading partner to address some areas of concern on your roster. Remember to focus on what you need to improve and don’t worry so much about whether you are helping someone else out. Trade from a position of strength and depth to maximize the value of what you have remaining on your roster. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy baseball emergency room.
Day to Day
Salvador Perez (C-KC) – Perez has been on the injury list a few times over the past few weeks with nagging injuries that only amounted to a day off here and there. That seems to be the case again as Perez was out of the lineup on Monday dealing with some soreness in his left side. It does not appear to be anything to worry about as he is expected to be back on the field on Tuesday. Perez has been one of the best offensive catchers in baseball with a .286 batting average along with 14 home runs and 38 RBI. He is a must-start so don’t be concerned about the side injury.
Dustin Pedroia (2B-BOS) – The Red Sox stalwart remains one of the grittiest and gutsiest players in baseball but that doesn’t always translate in fantasy box scores. He was out of the lineup on Monday after getting hit by a pitch in the ribs on Sunday. Pedroia underwent x-rays which came back negative but he says he spit up blood which is alarming. Given Pedroia’s toughness it is expected he will be back in the lineup with a day or two, so don’t bother looking at Josh Rutledge as a temporary replacement. Pedroia still possesses some value as a middle infielder thanks in large part to his .296 batting average.
Jason Heyward (OF-CHC) – Heyward sustained a laceration on his right wrist when he slid on the warning track and was forced out of Sunday’s game. He missed Monday’s game as well due to the injury but he is expected back on the field on Tuesday against the Padres. Heyward has been better than last year but still has minimal fantasy value. It doesn’t appear he will ever reach the expectations that were set for him since his rookie season several years ago. He is worth rostering just in case he figures things out hitting in the middle of a potent Cubs lineup.
Aaron Hicks (OF-NYY) – The injuries for the Yankees are starting to accumulate and now it is Aaron Hicks’ turn. He has missed the past few games with an Achilles injury and a trip to the disabled list could be in order if he is unable to return within the next day or two. Hicks has played remarkably well this year hitting .306 with ten home runs, 36 RBI and seven stolen bases in place of the injured Jacoby Ellsbury. Rob Refsnyder and Mason Williams are the likely candidates to play in lieu of Hicks if he misses any additional time.
Kyle Schwarber (OF-CHC) – The Cubs all-or-nothing left fielder fouled a ball off of his ankle and had to be taken out of Monday’s game against San Diego. He had some x-rays taken of his right ankle which came back negative meaning he is considered day-to-day. He is completely a one-dimensional fantasy player with 12 home runs, but his .174 batting average is an albatross which makes him a real liability. He is not a must-start and should only be counted on to help if you need to catch up in home runs and can afford such a paltry average.
Tim Beckham (SS-TB) – Beckham was hit by a pitch on his left hand on Monday against Cincinnati and was removed from the game. X-rays were taken and came back negative which is good news. He had missed some time last week with a knee injury but came back from that and has been hot of late raising his batting average to .280 to go along with ten home runs and 31 RBI. This type of production makes him a viable middle infield option in most leagues. He is considered day-to-day so he should be back in the lineup as soon as the pain and swelling subside.
Austin Hedges (C-SD) – The young Padres catcher has been a solid source of power at a scarce position with 11 home runs and 34 RBI thus far. He had to be taken out of Monday’s game against the Cubs with a bruised right thigh after a collision at home plate with Anthony Rizzo. The extent of the injury isn’t known yet so for now Hedges should be considered day-to-day.
On the DL
Michael Brantley (OF-CLE) – Brantley was on paternity leave when the Indians placed him on the disabled list retroactive to June 16 with an ankle injury. There were lots of questions about him coming into the season after coming back from a major shoulder injury, so now he is back on the disabled list once again. He has hit for a solid batting average of .296 but the power and run production have not been there as he only has five home runs and 28 RBI thus far. You should stash Brantley because he does provide enough upside to take up a roster spot but he will have to ramp up his production when he returns in order to retain a starting slot in your fantasy outfield. Daniel Robertson, Austin Jackson, and Brandon Guyer should all see some at bats filling in for Brantley while he is out.
Zack Cozart (SS-CIN) – We discussed Cozart last week in the injury report and unfortunately his strained right quadriceps is still problematic and it has landed him on the disabled list. Cozart actually came back and played a couple games over the weekend but he was held out of the lineup on Sunday and will now have an extended absence. He has provided great value as a middle infield waiver wire acquisition with a .320 batting average to go along with nine home runs and 33 RBI. His absence likely means Jose Peraza will play shortstop and Scooter Gennett will handle second base.
Victor Martinez (DH-DET) – There are some injuries that are scarier than others, and this one absolutely qualifies. Martinez was hospitalized late last week with an irregular heartbeat and spent a couple nights in the hospital before being released on Saturday. There is no time frame for his return as he will simply rest up for at least the next week before making any decisions on his comeback. Martinez only qualifies as a utility player so his value is very limited, especially given the lack of offensive output he has had this season. Don’t hesitate to drop him if you need the roster flexibility.
J.J. Hardy (SS-BAL) – Hardy suffered a fractured wrist after getting hit by a Lance Lynn pitch over the weekend. Right now it is believed he will be out four to six weeks with the injury which solidifies his status as fantasy irrelevant. Ruben Tejada is expected to see most of the playing time in Hardy’s place and he is even less relevant from a fantasy perspective.
On the Mend
Lance McCullers (SP-HOU) – Good news for fantasy GMs as Lance McCullers appears ready to return this coming weekend against Seattle. He has been on the disabled list with a back injury and hasn’t pitched since June 8. McCullers has been one of the best fantasy pitchers all season with a 6-1 record to go along with a 2.58 ERA and 1.06 ERA. He will be a welcome addition back into Houston’s depleted starting rotation and should absolutely be back in your fantasy lineup once activated.
Jonathan Villar (2B-MIL) – Villar has been one of the biggest disappointments in all of fantasy baseball with a putrid .213 batting average. He does have 14 stolen bases and qualifies at several positions, but he has not delivered anywhere near the expectations commensurate with where he was drafted a couple months ago. Villar has missed the past ten days with a back injury and is set to begin a rehab assignment later this week. Eric Sogard has played extremely well in his absence but Villar will get his job back and Sogard will return to a utility role.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).